listening to jess hall's interview on the linux link techshow tonight (which i quite enjoyed, btw, jess =) i grimaced inside when a question was asked about next year being the year of the linux desktop.
this bad boy really needs to be put down: there is no year of the linux desktop. and there never will be a year of the linux desktop.
see, every time someone spouts off about this mythical year it just gives more fodder to the doubting thomases and plain ol' anti-open-source-desktop people. and i don't blame them: it amounts to crying wolf.
this is because not only has it not yet happened, it never will. it's a matter of slow growth over a large number of years. we've been doing this for a little under a decade now and have just recently gotten the serous attention of big movers in the industry. open source on the server didn't take the world by storm over night either (except for categories where open source was one of the only mainstream solutions available from the beginning, such as in web serving or mail). these things take time and constant growth is all that matters.
and we're doing that, but all over night success stories are years in the making. ;) so please, for the love of $DEITY, let's stop this "year of" nonsense.
instead, why don't we concentrate on the positive and real growth we're experiencing instead of wanking off at the tongue about some "year" that won't materialize? i think in part it's because our growth is hard to see. when a new deployment happens, we usually don't know about it, whether that deployment is one machine in someone's living room or 5000 machines in a fast food chain. this is because they don't have to come to us begging and paying for licenses: they can just use it and do so without getting involved with upstream people like kde. and the linux vendors are generally tight-lipped about sales. but growth is happening. i know this first hand from traveling and seeing what's happening on the ground in the places i go. it's amazing where open source desktops are popping up (and it's generally not "the enterprise")
sebas from the kde marketing working group is attempting to fix that with better market research, and i hope he succeeds because we could really do better if we knew who our user base really was and no, it's not mostly the wonderfully important vocal minority who reads our blogs; that segment is a small part of our user base, though very valuable. and besides, what fun would blogging be if nobody read it.
it'd be like trees falling in an empty forest. *meditates*